TomTom, a leading global GPS maker, offers a solid, turn-by-turn iPhone GPS navigation app, and a charging car kit (shown here) to go with it. Credit due to TomTom, both its app and the Car Kit were somewhat over-priced and under-featured when they first launched, but TomTom listened to its customers (and hopefully us reviewers, as well) and quickly responded with significant upgrades and price drops. TomTom's turn-by-turn navigation app now sells for $39.99, and is among the best in its class, and the Tom Tom Car Kit for iPhone sells for about $100, after launching at $120.
TomTom also offers a Car Kit specifically for the iPod Touch, which sells for about $79.
Since iPhone nav apps for turn-by-turn navigation first hit the market, I've contended that they're not of much use without a charging windshield mount. There are a number of mounts on the market, but TomTom promised to exceed them all with a dedicated mount including a built-in supplemental GPS chip, speaker, charger port, and audio line-out jack.
The TomTom Car Kit addresses some of the iPhone's shortcomings as an in-car nav device. Its 2-inch diameter speaker produces clear sound equivalent to a speaker in a good dedicated car GPS. A rocker switch on the mount body controls the volume, from soft to loud. The power port charger keeps the iPhone's battery juiced up while you run power-hungry GPS apps, the phone, and the iPod. The built-in GPS chip did seem to boost start-up satellite acquisition, but I'll need to put more miles on the mount to do direct comparisons.
The iPhone clips cleanly and securely in and out of the mount, and TomTom took the extra step of putting the docking port on a slight, spring-loaded swivel to make it easier to attach and dismount the phone without damage to the iPhone.
The mount also includes built-in Bluetooth, and I was able to quickly and easily pair my iPhone with the base to use its speaker and built-in, forward-facing mic for hands-free calling. This is a big improvement over trying to use the iPhone's speaker and mic for hands-free.
The black nylon mount is sturdily constructed and features TomTom's solid EasyPort mount. It held to the windshield and to the included, sticky-back dash-mount disk very securely. The EasyPort folds flat to become easily stowed or carried.